Tahir Merchant alias Taklya, a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday after he was deported from Abu Dhabi by the Interpol.
Merchant was produced before the special TADA court and remanded to CBI custody until June 14.
Merchant, a close associate of prime accused Tiger Memon who carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh, had allegedly arranged for the accommodation of the accused who had gone to Pakistan for arms training in Dubai.
He had allegedly also arranged for the money for the blasts and attended conspiracy meetings, which were called by Memon and don Dawood Ibrahim.
CBI sources said Merchant was the main link between the conspirators — Memon and Ibrahim — and the executors of the blasts.
In 1993, the court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Merhant and declared him absconding. Even a Red Corner notice was issued against him. A country can request the Interpol to issue a red corner notice when a criminal evades arrest and escapes from the country.
In February, the CBI had arrested another absconding accused Feroze Abdul Rashid from Navi Mumbai.
Thirteen blasts had rocked the city on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people and injuring 713 others. In 2006, the TADA court had convicted 100 accused in connection with the case.
The court is still conducting trials against gangsters Abu Salem, Riyaz Siddiqui, Abdul Qayyum and Mustafa Dosa.
Their trials were separated from the main trial as they were arrested when the 1993 serial blasts trial concluded.
Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court.